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Interview with the QIBS Organisers

Events

Our country is surrounded by 90% of water, so a boat show here makes a lot of sense”, Faysal Mikati, Vice President of Snow Comms comments, when we ask him how the idea for the show was born. “We have been working on it for two years, and the idea was born out of a passion for boating amongst the partners in the company”.

Looking back at the show, Mikati comments: “We are surprised and overwhelmed by the people who came! We expected to have 5,000-10,000 people to the show and on the first day alone, we had 2,500 cars. We are also overwhelmed by the quality of the people who are visiting us. We received so much support from the Qatari government, and with their support I think we are going to see an even bigger show next year”.

Organising the show in November was a conscious decision, as Show Director George Kapoulas points out. “The season here starts in October and we had to align our show with the international boat show calendar. We did not want to have a conflicting date with any other international show. Also, this time of year, the weather is wonderful in Qatar”.

Much effort was put into the look and feel of the show, as George Kapoulas points out: “We have a great VIP area, that was designed to combine all that Qatar is about. Qatar is a booming country, and I tried to set the standards very high. We have also designed a nice hospitality area by the pontoon, to accommodate our guests”.

All the effort that was put in, seemed to have paid off “We are more than grateful to the people how came, and graced us with their presence. Visitors included plenty of VIPS, and Ministers”.

The largest yachts at the show were the Mangusta 165, and a Majesty 121. The shallow draft in the marina prevented several other yachts from visiting this year, but with work underway to deepen the marina, next year’s show will not be limited by draft. “This year we had a range of yachts from 36 foot till the 165 foot Mangusta. On the average the size was in 50s-60s range, with a total of 39 yachts. A very good number”, Mikati says.

As for next year, Mikati had big plans. “We have a promise from the government to support us, so I think we are going to double in size in 2014!

Qatar International Boat Show 2013
www.qibs2013.com

By Merijn de Waard

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